Sunday, July 15, 2007

the hobbits came out of the hills

last night i saw bob weir's band, ratdog, at the charlottesville pavilion. it was one of the better grateful dead-ish concerts i've ever been to.

i was part of the late 80's influx of deadheads, attending my first show in the summer of 1986. the last time i saw jerry garcia alive was in 1994.

sometimes i'm embarrassed to admit that i was (am?) a deadhead. i'm embarrassed because i have seen the yuck ways of the deadhead, particularly my generation of frat boy deadheads, and understand the negative connotations. i got really sick of being around people who listened to nothing but bootlegs and had a completely closed mind to other kinds of music. i appreciate a multiplicity of fashion statements and, though i am a hippy at heart, it doesn't mean i own nothing but tie dye and indian skirts. i have always loved a wide range of music and rarely choose to actually put a grateful dead disk in my cd player. there is just nothing like being at a live show, and feeding off of the energy of the scene. that is where my appreciation of it all finds wings.

last night was one of those shows that gives one a taste of flight. it was lovely seeing the old and young and middle aged hippies of the greater charlottesville area come out to play. it was also fun seeing a few acquaintances, and realizing that we share this spark. but mostly last night's show had the taste of freedom in it that the more positive experiences of my early grateful dead shows had. it was a freedom that rode in the with the music and rode out with the smiling crowd. a cosmic freedom. a freedom of movement and mind. a freedom that leaves you wanting more and more and more. which is ultimately a constraint.

there were moments when i wasn't consciously trying to dance, but the music commanded it. when the bass engine stormed through the song, "the other one," my body responded before my mind could censor it. there is great power in music that smacks you out of your self-conscious shell.

it is always special sharing this kind of show with dan, because some of my early psychic connections with him happened at grateful dead shows. long before we were aware that we would date each other, have a child together, get married, we met eyes and exchanged words at a few dead shows here and there.

last night's show felt like an anniversary party. a very romantic one.

in true deadhead form, i'll provide a setlist, lifted from elsewhere. i'm just not the kind of true deadhead who sits around memorizing the setlist or predicting the next song.

I: Jam > The Music Never Stopped > Easy Answers > Mama Tried, Senor > Money for Gasoline > Walking Blues > Eyes of the World

II: Peggy-O@brdj > Fever@, Estimated Prophet > The Other One > Stuff, Dear Prudence > One More Saturday Night

E: Ripple

No comments: